Back to Responding to a report of an adult at risk of abuse and/or neglect

Gathering and Sharing Information-Sharing as Part of s.126 Social services and Well-being Act (Wales) 2014 Enquiries

Effective s126 enquiries are dependent on gathering, sharing and analysing information about the adult at risk’s care and support protection needs. The information that should be gathered as part of the enquiries is shown below.


Information-gathering

The Concern

Areas for consideration

The identity and relevant details of the person who is the subject of the enquiries.

The evidence on which the ‘reasonable cause to suspect’ was founded.

A record of any abuse that the person may be experiencing together with any supporting evidence:

The impact of the abuse on the adult at risk.

Other matters that those making the enquiries consider necessary in order to establish whether care and support protection needs are being met.

Information-gathering

Person-centred Outcomes

Areas for consideration

How the adult at risk perceives the abuse and/or neglect.

What they want to happen.

The personal outcomes they want to achieve.

Any strategies that they can suggest that will keep them safe from abuse and neglect.

Information-gathering

The Context

Areas for consideration

The presence of any other person in the household who may be an adult at risk or a child.

Whether the alleged abuser provides care and support for the adult at risk or for a child or any other known adult at risk. If so, the nature and intensity of such care.

The nature of any support and assistance the adult at risk may be receiving from a carer or relative other than the alleged abuser

Sharing information with social services

Any information provided for enquiries in cases of an adult at risk should be:

Means taking account of the nature of the request and the purpose for which the information will be used.

For example, information about the adult at risk’s current behaviour that indicates or refutes abuse and/or neglect.

Means providing information appropriate for the specific request.

For example, social services need to know about past concerns an agency may have had about the abuse or neglect of an adult at risk.

Means information is enough to ensure it can be understood and relied upon.

For example, specific information about the behaviour that indicates or refutes concerns about abuse and/or neglect, such as they begin shaking when a particular carer enters the room.

Means it is based on fact not assumptions.

For example, being specific what has been observed, by whom, such as the adult at risk’s response has been observed whenever they are in the presence of a particular carer with details of staff who have observed the behaviour.

Accuracy also means differentiating fact from opinion.

Means information is restricted to those with a legitimate need to know and is shared securely.

For example, check that any information provided will be securely stored.

Means it is restricted to what is required for a particular situation at a particular time.

For example, if the information is required urgently to provide immediate protection it may not be possible to seek the consent of the adult at risk before sharing information.

Means recording in writing what has been shared and why.

For example, be clear what information has been shared, with whom and for what purpose in line with agency recording procedures.

Some frontline staff and managers can be over-cautious about sharing personal information, particularly if it is against the wishes of the individual concerned. They may also be mistaken about needing hard evidence to share information.

In certain circumstances practitioners can over-ride the duty of confidentiality to patients or service users. These circumstances are:

It is important that staff consider the risks of not sharing safeguarding information when making decisions.

If there is continued reluctance from one partner to share information on a safeguarding concern, then the matter should be referred to the Regional Safeguarding Board (RSB). The RSB should discuss the issue, including the organisation's stated reasons for not sharing the information. The RSB will then advise what course of action to take.

Pointers for Practice: Seven Golden Rules for Information-Sharing